WEEK THREE – 21ST-23RD AUGUST 2015
Ajax and Feyenoord maintain their 100% records as PSV slip up again. Will Burns is on hand to give you the lowdown of all this weekend’s action.
Ajax continued their perfect start to the new campaign by easily dispatching N.E.C. Nijmegen, although it took a while for Frank de Boer’s side to get going. The deadlock was finally broken just after the half-time break as Nijmegen’s new goalkeeper Hannes Halldórsson underestimated Arkadiusz Milik’s effort from outside the area and the ball sailed into the net. The points were confirmed with four minutes to go after Rens van Eijden turned the ball into his own net to double Ajax’s lead. Yet to concede a goal this Eredivisie season so far, the Amsterdammers sit top of the league on nine points with Feyenoord behind them on goal difference in second.
Also with a 100% record is Feyenoord, who hosted Vitesse in the final game of the weekend and Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men left it late to defeat Peter Bosz’s outfit 2-0. After a poor first-half, Vitesse started the second period the brighter side but it was hosts that claimed all three points.
‘Captain Dirk’ Kuyt continues his fine form notching again, making it three goals in as many games, with another goal from the penalty spot after Guram Kashia bundled Terence Kongolo in the box. Vitesse hardly had a chance to reassign themselves before Bilal Başaçıkoğlu took advantage of some lapse defending by the Arnhem side to make it 2-0 and send De Kuip into raptures.
Reigning champions PSV had Luuk de Jong to thank for salvaging a point against sc Heerenveen on Saturday night. It was a slight improvement on PSV’s last three visits to the Abe Lenstra Stadion, as Heerenveen had previously won the last three meetings between the two. The hosts caused problems for Philip Cocu’s men throughout with the pace of wingers Sam Larsson and Luciano Slagveer made life for Joshua Brenet and Santiago Arias especially difficult.
It was ten minutes into the second half before we saw the first goal and it was young left-back Caner Cavlan successfully converting a penalty that opening the scoring. PSV midfielder Davy Pröpper held Lucas Bijker in the area and referee Eric Braamhaar pointed to the spot and although Jeroen Zoet dived the right way, Cavlan powered the penalty home.
Ten minutes later, PSV were level. A long ball out the back from Jeffrey Bruma met the head of Adam Maher in the Heerenveen area. Maher nodded the ball down for De Jong to volley home and clinch a point for the Eindhoven outfit. PSV may look at this as two points dropped as they now sit four points adrift of Ajax and Feyenoord in the title race after three games. After the contest, De Jong was interviewed by Fox Sports and slammed Braamhaar for giving Heerenveen a penalty, while rejecting many PSV appeals. He stated: “I really do not understand why they get a penalty for holding, while many of our players were held throughout the whole match.”
FC Groningen began the weekend clinching their first victory of the season in Friday night’s game hosting Excelsior. Edwin van de Looi’s men were held by the Rotterdam side for 70 minutes until substitute Mimoun Mahi opening the scoring. Mahi has just been on the pitch for five minutes before finding the net, replacing the disappointing, but visibly upset, Albert Rusnák. The Slovakian, formerly of Manchester City, booted the subs bench in anger after being replaced.
Back to the goal, after Jarchinio Antonia was pulled down by Kevin van Diermen on the edge of the area, with the defender lucky to escape a red card, Mahi set-up a free-kick. The winger hit a skimming low effort towards goal that creeped inside Filip Kurto’s near post to make it 1-0.
The 21-year-old Mahi, whose only other goal came in a 2-2 draw against FC Twente last March, managed to seal the winner with a lovely goal with just minutes to go, although with a suspicion of offside. The hosts broke on the counter as the Rotterdam outfit searched for an equaliser, and Jesper Drost threaded the needle for Mahi, who kept his composure and slotted home to cement the win.
Our player of the week has to be Heracles attacking midfielder Oussama Tannane who netted FOUR times in the first-half to help his side onto a 6-1 thrashing away to SC Cambuur. Along with Tannane’s quadruple goals, Wout Weghorst and Thomas Bruns added to the tally with Nigerian striker Bartholomew Ogbeche grabbed a consolation for Cambuur.
In a battle of two of the promoted sides, Roda JC ran out 1-0 winners against De Graafschap. A Tom van Hyfte first-half goal gave the Kerkrade side all three points.
In Sunday’s opener, PEC Zwolle defeated FC Twente by 2-1 at the IJsseldelta Stadion. Striker Lars Veldwijk converted a spot-kick to give Zwolle the lead, before Hakim Ziyech equalised just after the break. However, Ron Jans’ side would take all three points when Ben Rienstra scored the winner just after the hour mark.
Mike Havanaar was the hero in The Hague as he rescued a point for ADO Den Haag in their home game against FC Utrecht. Frenchman Sébastien Haller had given the visitors the lead on the half-hour mark scoring his fourth goal of the season.
AZ Alkmaar and Willem II finished goal-less in a disappointing contest for both side, both looking for their first win of the season.
Friday 21st August
FC Groningen 2-0 Excelsior
Saturday 22nd August
Roda JC 1-0 De Graafschap
sc Heerenveen 1-1 PSV
SC Cambuur 1-6 Heracles
Sunday 23rd August
PEC Zwolle 2-1 FC Twente
ADO Den Haag 1-1 FC Utrecht
N.E.C. Nijmegen 0-2 Ajax
AZ Alkmaar 0-0 Willem II
Feyenoord 2-0 Vitesse
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